Historical Time Line of Sicily

Tom Musco

650 B.C
. The Siculi, the Socani, and the Elymi are the first known inhabitants of Sicily.

735 B.C. The first Greek settlement is established at Naxos.

734 B.C. Greeks from Corinth settle the colony of Siracusa.
Honey, ricotta, figs, hazelnuts, walnuts, grapes, and pomegranates arrive with the Corinthians.

201 B.C. The Punic Wars give control of Sicily to the Roman Republic.
Exports of wheat and barley to Rome earn Sicily the nickname "Granary of Rome."
Cherries, plums, and citron are imported from Asia.

535 Sicily is annexed to the Byzantine Empire.

807 The North African Arabs found the Mattanza-the ritual trapping and killing of bluefin tuna.

827 The Saracens conquer Sicily.

902 The Saracens plant sugarcane, citrus, rice, bananas, mulberries, date palms, pistachios, watermelon, and apricots. They figure out how to make ice cream. Irrigation methods are instituted in Sicily. Agriculture flourishes.

1060 The Norman Conquest begins, led by brothers Roger and Robert Hauteville.

1091 All of Sicily and the Calabrian Peninsula fall to Norman rule.

1189 Norman rule ends. Henry VI of Swabia claims the throne on behalf of his wife, Constance.

1268 Swabian rule ends. Pope Clement IV invests Charles, Count of Anjou and Provence, with the crown of Sicily.

1282 A French soldier insults a Sicilian maiden on her way into church for Vesper services. This event begins the popular uprising known as the Sicilian Vespers, leading to the eventual end of French rule.

1302 The Treaty of Caltabellota gives control of Sicily to Spain under King Peter of Aragon.

1492 The Spanish Inquisition forces the expulsion of Jews from Sicily. With the Jews goes Sicily’s thriving sugar industry. Chocolate, squash, tomatoes, peppers, and cactus are brought to Sicily from Mexico on Spanish ships.

1535 Pastry making takes hold in the kitchens of convents and monasteries.

1713 Sicily is turned over to the Duke of Savoy in the Spanish War over Succession.

1716 Savoyard rule ends. The Treaty of The Hague gives control of Sicily to Austria.

1734 Charles V of Bourbon claims the throne on behalf of Spain.

1767 Ferdinand I, son of Charles V, inherits the throne of Sicily and rules from Naples.

1805 The Royal Court relocates to Palermo. French chefs arrive to cater to the needs of the court.

1816 The Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily are united to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Corruption is at an all-time high.

1860 Sicily is liberated from Spanish rule by Giuseppe Garibaldi.

1861 Sicily is unified with Italy.